MEDRC to Promote Environmentally Friendly Desalination Techniques for Farmers and Small-Scale Plants

Three new evaporation ponds have been built at MEDRC HQ as part of an initiative to find more environmentally friendly ways to dispose of brine from desalination plants.

In close collaboration with researchers from Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) this initiative aims to assist and train Oman Farmers in adopting such methods. Our goal is to enable operators of small-scale desalination plants for agriculture:

· Reduce the impact of brine discharge on the environment
· Protect their crops
· Reduce operation costs

MEDRC will conduct rigorous review of current best practices concerning brine management, focusing on Omani case studies, and will identify the most promising ones for field situations.

Later MEDRC will also perform cost-benefit analysis of the various evaporation methods and prepare ‘brine management guidebook’ outlining practical design criteria and guidelines. The guidebook will explicitly link different brine management options (disposal and beneficial uses) with ecosystem responses and ecosystem services, with a view that this may feed into more site specific cases of agricultural activities in Oman.

Research activities on measuring the evaporation rate of different configurations of the three ponds and boosting evaporation rates will begin soon.